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How to get from Sofia International Airport to Plovdiv

Plovdiv, one of the oldest European cities and voted European Capital of Culture in 2019, is located in the south-central part of Bulgaria, on the Maritsa River. The city is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe and one of the oldest in the world. Plovdiv boasts the best-preserved traditional architecture in southeastern Europe, wonderful cultural events, festivals, and concerts.

So when travelling from Sofia airport to Plovdiv, you have three transportation options; you can take a taxi or private transfer, a train or a bus. Taking a taxi or private transfer is the only direct, therefore the fastest and most comfortable, travel option taking 1 hour 40 minutes. For a more cost-savvy alternative, you can take Sofia’s public transportation by a combined metro and train journey, taking around 3 hours, or you could take the combined metro and bus option, also taking around 3 hours.

Welcome Pickups offers meet and greet services and a friendly introduction to Sofia at the same price as a regular taxi. Click here to see the cost.

Welcome Pickups has a Net Safety Score of 99 of 100

We’ve introduced a metric indicating how safe travellers feel when using our services during the COVID-19 pandemic. After every ride, we ask each traveller to leave a review.

  • 20 minute gap between transfers

  • Regular Car Sanitisation

  • Contactless ride

  • Sanitiser in every car

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Comparison of the options

PRICE FOR 2PASSENGERS
OPTION PRICE DURATION AVAILABILITY
Welcome Pickups €92 100min 24/7
Taxi €60 100min 24/7
Train €10.60 180min 05:30–00:00
Bus €13.80 180min 06:15–23:30

How to get from Sofia International Airport to Plovdiv by taxi

Taking a Sofia to Plovdiv taxi is the best way to travel; taxis provide reliable 24/7 services in the safety of a private vehicle, taking 1 hour 40 minutes to get to your Plovdiv hotel. Moreover, Sofia cabs are an easy way to get to your destination whilst avoiding the hassle of finding your way around Sofia’s public transportation.

How much is a taxi from Sofia airport to Plovdiv?

Taxis in Sofia calculate their fares using a taximeter based on the time and distance travelled to your exact location. A one-way fare from Sofia airport to Plovdiv costs €60 (BGN 118). Please note that night and weekend fares are applicable; your 1-hour 40-minute ride should cost around €70 (BGN 138) at night.

Nevertheless, if you wish to travel with a local English-speaking driver at a fixed rate with no hidden fees, then you can pre-book your Sofia private transfer with Welcome Pickups.

Cost

€60 (BGN 118)

Trip Duration

1 H 40 Min.

*Rates may vary unless booked in advance.

Convenience
Safety
Value for Money

Taxis are available 24/7 at Sofia International Airport

Where do I get a taxi from?

You can find the official taxi ranks outside both terminals of the Sofia airport. Simply follow the yellow lines on the floor in terminals 1 and 2 to reach the taxi rank. SOF has an exclusive arrangement with taxi operator “OK Supertrans AD”.

Convenience

Taking a Sofia to Plovdiv taxi is undoubtedly the best way to travel. Taxis provide 24/7 door-to-door services in the safety and comfort of a private vehicle. They are especially your best choice if you are arriving during the night or travelling with children or heavy luggage, as there are no direct routes from SOF to Plovid on Sofia’s public transportation system.

Editor’s Note

Be aware of overcharging taxi drivers in Bulgaria. Some may take longer routes or pretend that their prices are higher; just let them know that you are aware of taxi prices.

Useful Tips

Some taxis in Sofia accept credit card payments and should indicate if they do on their window. However, it is always best to check with your driver beforehand.
Tipping your taxi driver in Bulgaria is common; travellers usually leave a 10% tip.
Make sure that the taximeter has been turned on and switched to the correct tariff before starting your journey to Plovdiv.

How to get from Sofia International Airport to Plovdiv by train

Your most cost-savvy travel option to get from Sofia airport to Plovdiv is to take a combined metro and train trip, taking around 3 hours (excluding waiting times). Firstly, you will need to take SOF’s Yellow M4 to Serdika Metro Station, where you can take the Blue M2 to Sofia Central Train Station, which takes around 35 minutes. You will then need to take the train to Plovdiv Train Station, which takes 2 hours 25 minutes.

How much is a train ticket from Sofia airport to Plovdiv?

You can use one metro ticket for both the M4 and M2, which costs €0.80 (BGN 1.60), and a one-way train ticket from Sofia Central Station to Plovdiv Train Station costs €4.50 (BGN 9); bringing the total fare to €5.30 (BGN 10.40).

Cost

€5.30 (BGN 10.40)

Trip Duration

3 hours

The metro runs every 6-15 minutes and the train runs every 1 to 2 hours.

Convenience
Safety
Value for Money

The metro is available daily from 05:30 to 00:00 and the train is available daily from 05:30 to 22:45.

Where do I get the metro from?

You can find Sofia airport’s metro station at Terminal 2. If you are travelling from Terminal 1, you can simply catch the free shuttle bus from the terminal, which runs every 15 minutes.

Convenience

Taking Sofia’s public transportation is an excellent option for travellers on a budget. Tickets are cheap, and both the metro and train run smoothly. However, you will have to transfer twice. When you arrive at Plovdiv Train Station, you will then have to take a travel alternative to get to your accommodation, which can be problematic if you travel with children or heavy luggage.

Editor’s Note

Different ticket options exist for the metro and the train; you can see more details on their website.

Useful Tips

Please be aware that train travel durations are not the same; some journeys are much longer than others.
Trains in Bulgaria have large overhead compartments which can fit your luggage.
There are no refreshment facilities; it is recommended to bring your own snacks and drinks for the journey.

How to get from Sofia International Airport to Plovdiv by bus

Another transfer option from Sofia airport to Plovdiv is to take a combined metro and bus trip. Like the train option, you will have to take the Yellow M4 line to Serdika Metro Station, where you will need to get the Blue M2 line to Sofia Central Train Station. Here, you have a three-minute walk to Sofia Bus Terminal, where you can either get the BusExpress or the Karat-S bus to Plovdiv. The metro trip takes around 35 minutes, and the train ride takes 2 hours 20 minutes, bringing your total travel time to 3 hours 5 minutes, excluding any waiting times.

How much is a bus ticket from Sofia airport to Plovdiv?

You can use one metro ticket for both the M4 and M2, which costs €0.80 (BGN 1.60). However, depending on the bus company you choose to use, your ticket price varies slightly. A one-way bus ticket on BusExpress costs €7.10 (BGN 13.90), and a return ticket costs an extra €5 (BGN 9.80). A one-way bus ticket on the Karat-S bus costs €6.10 (BGN 12), bringing the total fare to €6.90 (BGN 13.50) or €7.90 (BGN 15.45).

You can purchase your tickets at the ticket vending machines at the metro and bus station or purchase your tickets online in advance.

Cost

€6.90 (BGN 13.50)

Trip Duration

3 H 05 Min.

The metro runs every 6 to 15 minutes and both bus companies BusExpress and Karat-S run 4 times a day.

Convenience
Safety
Value for Money

The metro is available daily from 05:30 to 00:00 and the bus is available daily from 06:15 to 23:30.

Where do I get the metro from?

The Sofia airport’s metro station is located at Terminal 2. If you are travelling from Terminal 1, you can get onto the free shuttle bus, which takes you to Terminal 2 every 15 minutes.

Convenience

Taking the metro and the bus is another good travel alternative for those on a budget – however, having two transfers, after a long flight and with luggage is not ideal. Moreover, there are long waiting times between the buses, significantly adding time to your trip duration.

Editor’s Note

You can purchase your metro and bus tickets in advance on the respective company's website.

Useful Tips

Different metro passes are available; it is recommended that you go through their website to select the best-suited ticket.
Luggage is stowed in the luggage compartment under the bus.

Welcome Pickups transfer

Welcome Pickups

Book a trained, English-speaking taxi driver to pick you up at the same price as a regular cab from the line

If you feel more relaxed knowing that somebody is waiting for you, you may as well book a Welcome Pickups transfer. As soon as you arrive at the airport you will be greeted by your driver. He will be waiting for you at the terminal of your arrival with a sign that has your name on it. Your driver will help you out with your luggage and together you will make your way to the vehicle. While he is driving you to your accommodation, the driver can give you some tips and recommendations on what to do during your holidays in Sofia. Our drivers are hand-picked and speak fluent English. No need to worry about miscommunication issues that you may face with the local taxi drivers regarding your destination. Relax and enjoy your ride.

Best drivers

Hand-picked english-speaking drivers

Flight monitoring

Drivers are always on time

Quality support

24/7 email & phone support

Cancel up to 24h before and get a refund

Edit or cancel transfers

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Prices

DAYTIME
€92.0
NIGHTTIME
€111.0
Same price as a regular taxi from the line

PRICES FOR

Sedan Car

4 pax, 4 pieces of luggage

Book Welcome Pickups transfer

Frequently asked questions

How to get from Sofia airport to Plovdiv?

There are three transfer options from Sofia airport to Plovdiv; you can take a taxi which is the only direct option, or opt for a combined metro and train trip or a combined metro and bus journey.

What is the distance from Sofia to Plovdiv?

Sofia airport is located 143 km away from Plovdiv city centre. It takes around 1 hour 40 minutes to reach by taxi or car.

Does Plovdiv have an airport?

Yes, Plovdiv airport (PDV) exists; however, it is small and only operates four airlines. It is mainly used during the ski season.

Pre-book online